A very open environment, encouraging.

I love the variety of ages.

Fall 2018


Open to Ages 16-29
Saturdays, September 15-October 27, 9-1, The Door, 219 N. Chester Street, Baltimore 21231 (map)

In this production workshop student fellows will contribute to a BYFA documentary web series focusing on Baltimore’s East Side; the streets, the music, the businesses, and the personalities.  They’ll work together with instructors to identify and pursue the stories they find most meaningful, and continue to collaborate as professional crew to shoot and edit four short episodes.  They'll build on a series created in a prior workshop, but all the content will be new, reflecting their unique vision and interests.  (The original four episodes will be released on YouTube starting in September.)  Fellows will learn interview techniques and the basics of digital video production, both practical—camera operation, audio recording, editing on Adobe Premiere—and aesthetic—visual and sound composition, narrative design.  These new episodes will also be shared on YouTube, as well as at a public screening and on the BYFA program website.  Limited to 12 student fellows.

Jim Mahjoubian, Video Production Coordinator for the Baltimore City Public Schools, believes any young person with an interest in film should be given an opportunity to explore and find their voice. In fifteen years of production and education he's helped many former students move into the industry with passion and integrity.

Jamal Evans teaches in the Interactive Media Production program at Edmondson-Westside High School.  For over fifteen years, he has inspired students to enter the world of media production.  He also has a passion for social media and does freelance photography and video throughout the Baltimore region and beyond.   

Darian Jones is currently working towards his associate's degree in Digital Media Production at the Community College of Baltimore County.  He is interested in documenting unique and authentic stories, and he hopes to give back by teaching others. 

Open to Ages 16-29
Saturdays, September 15-October 27, 9-1, JHU-MICA Film Center (map)

In this experimental photography workshop, student fellows will capture and piece together images of Baltimore, creating “quilts” that reflect their experiences and personal visions.  Using digital cameras, disposable cameras, and cellphones, and shooting in both black and white and color, they’ll assemble personal picture diaries of people, places, and objects.  They’ll then draw from these collections to create individual and group “quilts,” grids of varying dimensions and degrees of complexity.  They’ll consider composition of the individual image, the juxtaposition of images, and the effect of multiple images “stitched” together into a large, communal assemblage.  They’ll experiment with street and studio photography, working in natural and artificial light.  Fellows will be encouraged to build up their picture diaries on their own between workshop meetings.  And in addition to their visual diary, each fellow will keep a journal of their experiences working both alone and collaboratively.  They’ll discuss their creative processes as a group, and learn to productively critique each other’s aesthetic choices.  Their work will be shared at a public exhibition and on the program website.  A large, collaborative project will be displayed as well as individual pieces.  Limited to 12 student fellows.

Anthony McKissic is a photojournalist and mixed media artist from Washington D.C.  He also teaches photography in the Baltimore City Public Schools.

Jessica Pettiford is a graduate of the Screenwriting and Animation (SWAN) program at Morgan State University. She hopes to improve her own skills in photography while working with others and helping them learn something new.

Open to Ages 16-29
Saturdays, September 15-October 27, 12-4, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Cherry Hill Town Center, 606 Cherry Hill Rd. 21225 (map) and on location

This videography and storytelling workshop will focus on individual, personal stories.  Student fellows will start with place, the specific settings in their lives that have meaning: a school, a playground, a kitchen, a rooftop, even a family car.  They’ll explore the connection between environment and inner life, considering how physical spaces can not only hold memories, but determine experience and define identity.  They’ll also consider how an individual can transcend, defy, or transform that definition.  Working together and with the instructors they’ll select one location, whether from their past or present, and shape a single “diary entry,” a personal story for video.  Using photographs and other personal archival materials, as well as cellphone footage shot between meetings and video footage shot during the workshop, they’ll assemble individual short films.  Audio will include interviews, voice over monologue, and the sounds of the world around them.  They’ll learn the basics of videography, including shot composition, audio recording, and editing; and they’ll refine critical thinking and storytelling skills.  Each fellow will create a short (2-3 minute) film to be shared at a public screening and on the program website.  Fellows are not required to own smartphones to participate.  Limited to 12 student fellows.

First Person: Video Diaries of Identity and Place is a co-production of Baltimore Youth Film Arts and Root Branch Productions.

Vonnya Pettigrew is CEO of Root Branch Productions & Film Academy.  A writer and filmmaker, she has produced content for a wide range of clients, including the Discovery Channel, Disney, and Starz.

Danielle Carter, a Baltimore native, is a recent Morgan State University graduate.  She studied Multi-Platform Production and  hopes to become a producer.  She is eager to share all that she has learned with up-and-coming filmmakers.   

Brittany Crissman is a senior at Towson University, where she's pursuing a degree in Communications with a Mass  Communication Studies minor.  She is the community service chair of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), Towson chapter, and will be a social justice facilitator in fall of 2018.

Open to Ages 16-29
Saturdays, September 15-October 27, 9-1, Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave (map) 

In this journalism workshop, fellows will get as close as possible to the world and people around them, while discovering the city of Baltimore on foot.  Using the nearly obsolete but unobtrusive tool of the disposable camera, and the citizen journalist's weapon of the cellphone camera, they’ll frame and capture what they see.  Their photographs--taken in churches, on playgrounds, at public events embracing both art and politics--will be guided by the fundamental rules of journalism: Who, What, When, Where, and most importantly, WHY.  These investigations will be pursued through "deep captions," short features of 3 to 5 paragraphs per photo with each student working on multiple images and multiple stories over the course of the workshop.  In this era of "fake news,” the workshop will labor for accuracy in interviews and research.  If a fact or detail about an image cannot be proven to be true, it will not be published.  Fellows will sharpen observation, communication, and critical-thinking skills.  Their captioned photographs will be collected in a photo book, and will appear on the program website and at a public exhibition.  Fellows are not required to own smartphones to participate.  Limited to 12 student fellows.  

For nearly 40 years, Rafael Alvarez has been writing about Baltimore while taking thousands of pictures of his hometown with disposable cameras.  A former City Desk reporter for The Baltimore Sun, Alvarez wrote for the HBO drama The Wire, and has published ten books. Educated in Catholic schools, he is a lifelong resident of Baltimore.  

Malkah Bell is a recent graduate of Morgan State University's SWAN (Screenwriting & Animation) program, receiving her BFA in television and media writing.  Since childhood she has had a love for writing and uses film as a her canvas to tell moving stories.  

The following workshops are fully enrolled. To be placed on a waitlist, please contact the program.

(Click on title for full description.)

The power of the shot
Ages 16-29 (this workshop is fully enrolled)
Saturdays, September 15-October 27, 9-1, Johns Hopkins Homewood Campus, Brody 4040 (map)

Exploring the intersection of literary and film arts through the hybrid form of the “motionpoem”
Ages 16-29 (this workshop is fully enrolled)
Saturdays, September 15-October 27, 1:30-5:30, JHU-MICA Film Center (map)

Filmmaking building on the rich tradition of African American folktales
Ages 16-29 (this workshop is fully enrolled)
Saturdays, September 15-October 27, 10-2, Morgan State University, Holmes Hall (map)

Large scale portraits for international public art
Ages 16-29 (this workshop is fully enrolled)
Saturdays, September 29-October 27, 9-1, and Saturday, December 1, 2-6, Harambee Center, 1622 N. Carey St. 21217 (map) and on location